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Djokovic beats Monfils to capture Paris Masters

Third-seeded Novak Djokovic scrambled to a 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (3) victory over local favorite Gael Monfils on Sunday to win the Paris Masters for the first time.

The victory gave Djokovic back-to-back ATP Tour titles after his win over top-ranked Roger Federer in the Swiss Indoors final Nov. 7.

The third-ranked Djokovic also beat world No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the semifinals in Paris and will be a strong favorite when he’ll try to defend his title at the eight-man ATP World Tour Finals from Nov. 22-29 in London.

“Winning back-to-back titles at this level is a huge achievement for me, and adding to that, beating the world No. 1 and No. 2,” Djokovic said. “I really feel that I’m in great form right now.”

Also: Suspended Belgian players Yanina Wickmayer and Xavier Malisse are launching appeals with European authorities challenging the legality of the whereabouts rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Victory at the European Commission in Brussels and the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights could force WADA to change its rules on when and where athletes can be tested out of competition.


Yu-na, Belbin-Agosto win at Skate America

Kim Yu-na was not infallible. She still was a winner at Skate America in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Not stumbling at all were Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, who swept all three portions of ice dance.

Feeling nervous and “heavy,” Kim, the world champion from South Korea, won her second straight Skate America title despite losing the free skate to American Rachael Flatt.

Kim made two major mistakes, including a fall on the triple flip — the one element on which she has struggled at times. That left enough of an opening for Flatt, the U.S. runner-up last January, to take the free program 116.11 points to 111.70.

But Kim had such a large lead after her surpassing short program that she took the gold medal by more than 13 points.

Also: Undefeated Zenyatta is getting her own day at Hollywood Park to celebrate the mare who ended her career with a 14-0 record and a victory over the boys in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.

She will be saluted at her home track Nov. 29. She is set to start her breeding career next year in Kentucky.

Zenyatta will parade between races on the program, and fans in attendance will receive a DVD entitled “Zenyatta, A Living Legend,” featuring all 14 of her races.

FIFA handed Argentina coach Diego Maradona a two-month ban from all soccer activities for his expletive-filled rants after his team qualified for the 2010 World Cup.

Maradona will miss Argentina’s exhibition against the Czech Republic scheduled for Dec. 16, but he avoided sanctions that would have kept him from coaching at next year’s World Cup in South Africa. He also was fined $24,250.

At 61 years old, Tom Thompson made his first — and probably last — kick of his college football career Saturday in the season finale for the Austin College Kangaroos in Sherman, Texas.

Thompson, a grad student who was a backup kicker in high school more than 40 years ago, was put into the game for the first time this season to try an extra point in the second quarter against Trinity University.

Despite having to adjust to a messy snap, Thompson was successful.

It wasn’t enough for the Division III Kangaroos, though, as they lost, 44-10.

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